Saturday, July 15, 2006

Memories, technology and trivia

Everytime I draw something, I discover something about myself or I unearth a memory that has lain beneath the surface of everyday thinking.

Memories are a collection of images, sounds, colours,sensation that can be stored untouched for years, then a trigger lifts them from their dusty cabinet and they shine again and become new once more.

The bear in this drawing is known as 'Boston Bear'. My daughter was offered a job in Boston before she graduated university. She refused it, wanting something in Canada instead. The prof she was doing research with at the time gave her the bear when she initially learned of the American job opportunity. Hence the name. Another memory for storage and today it was revitalized.

Now for something completely Monty Python used to say.

Imagine walking into a department store or any big box store, and while browsing an aisle you find a display where packages hang; which, at first glance, seem to contain large action figures. Upon closer inspection, you realize they are actually bizarre, altered, bipedal mammals sealed in a plastic bubble where they uneasily rest in some kind of induced hibernation.

A series of glowing and beeping heart monitors on the packages gives a hint that they are alive. The rising and falling of their chests as well as their occasional twitching, shaking and clawing, albeit limited by the tie-wraps, which keep them in place, confirms the life of these creatures. They are there, ready to take home and add to your life as the next entertainment gadget; bioengineered creatures, mass-produced, and pre-packaged for your convenience.

Adam Brandejs, a Canadian artist has created a controversial 'pet' that people are clamouring to buy. They are similar to some works by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini.

For the brave, check out the GenPet website. Its bizarre!

Want to spill your guts and have no one to tell? Let it all out at PostSecret. You'll laugh or cry, or both. But you'll know that others are in the same boat too. Frank Warren, the owner of the blog, says he has had nearly 30,000 postcard secrets sent to him in the post, with hundreds of new ones being sent each week.

Technorati tags; , , , , ,

Friday, July 14, 2006


When you can't sleep and dawn is breaking over the barn and the sky is tinged with colour and drama, what can you do but photograph it or paint it? The camera was more within my capabilities at 5am.

It was inevitable: Bloggers who previously wrote endlessly about everything from politics to tech tips to how to fry an egg on a hot sidewalk can now take their commentary, advice and random experiments to the next level by filming and broadcasting their work, thanks to the latest web trend -- video blogging.

Video blogs -- also known by their shorter, clunkier name, vlogs -- are blogs that primarily feature video shorts instead of text.

So said this article: Blogging + Video = Vlogging.

Will it ever take the place of art or writing? I doubt it. It has a place and a story to tell, but I can't see it posing a threat to the classics and reliability of pen or brush to paper. Here is a sample of vlogging and art. I am constantly on the lookout for new ways to communicate art and ideas. This may be part of the process and I will examine more thoroughly when I have a chance.

I have produced another couple of drawings for the scavenger hunt at Artwork from Life. I'm at the halfway point just about and will tackle more tomorrow. I really need to put my mind into other projects. These sideshoots are like little tasty appetizers that I find difficult to resist. They are quick and simple and satisfy the side of me that needs instant gratification instead of weeks worth of work before a project is complete.

I WILL start my new illustrations and drawing. Tomorrow.

, , , ,

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Its the little things that count

Farms are places of discovery and this small farm is no exception. There are any number of things which capture my imagination and provide fuel for drawing. This image was one of them. The horse's sweet feed bucket one morning had a visitor. A young field mouse who had dropped in and couldn't get out.

I haven't got a love of mice, but I do find them appealing little creatures. Unfortunately the barn is full of them. Animal feed and seed plus shelter is a combination that is irresitable to them and there are constant traps being set to capture them. The crows benefit from the surfeit of mice, rather like a buffet, as they are thrown to the barn roof after being removed from the traps. Its a circle, the same as the 'arrangement' with the foxes to remove old eggs or chicken casualties from the big compost pile at the end of the field. Its amazing that something can be put ther and within half an hour or less it will disappear, as soon as you're not looking. Its a bit odd to think there are always eyes looking at you from the woods...

The old layers now have free access to the yard. Their egg laying capacity is diminishing along with shell quality, so they'll live out their time digging in the compost pile where they squeal in delight when they scratch up a worm and coo to themselves as they dispatch their find. Its a natural environment for them and their diet as freerange birds enhances the egg quality and the yolks are always a rich orange colour as a result.

I seem to be in a pen and ink rut right now and need to break out of it soon. I was always terrified of the medium but once I tried a class in it, I realized that it is a lot more forgiving that I originally thought. The addition of a colour wash to pen and ink brings it to a new dimension.

This is a drawing that I completed this week in that technique. Flowers aren't my forte, simply because I don't enjoy the complexity of leaves, petals, sepals and shading that makes me concentrate too much perhaps. Its one of those perceived difficulties that, once into it, it becomes a simpler task. However, I rarely tackle flowers, beautiful as they are.

Another addition to the scavenger hunt is a stack of books in my office. Lunchtime drawings provide a challenge and a break in my day when time permits. However, I may run out of things in my office to draw that fit the criteria for the hunt soon!

Technorati tags: , , , ,

The hunt continues...

The scavenger hunt at Wet Canvas that is. I have 10 items created out of 26. I am definitely not leading the pack in this event,but I am enjoying the freedom of sketching from life. here are a couple of sketches that were done today. An african violet and a baseball cap.

I've had my sister and niece staying with me for a couple of days, so time has been limited in many ways. My niece is off to Europe tonight for a couple of weeks. One week in London, the other in Venice and Florence. Lucky girl...sigh. Its her graduation present. I threw in thirty pounds spending money as my graduation offering. She also managed to wangle my new fleece sweater off my back - literally -at the airport. Oh well, easy come, easy go. Perhaps it will come back as the well travelled sweater.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sometimes we just need to smile

And today is one of those days.

I had the thought of trying to put some video of life on the farm on my blog and was investigating how to go about it. In the process of doing so, I came across this little snippet and it makes me smile each time I play it. So I thought I'd share the smile. Turn up your sound and watch the the antics. It is art in a true form. It is designed to bring the viewer to another place and creates its own story. Combined with another art form, of music, it turns into simple pleasure.

I am taking part in a scavenger hunt in Art from Life. Its a virtual scavenger hunt. I find 26 items and draw them, post them. The first person to draw all 26 items wins. So far, I've amassed 5 items. Here are a couple of them, my glasses, and an Inuit sculpture.

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lawnmowers and boxes

Kit, the remaining horse, works part time as a lawn mower. She's quite selective though about what she eats. She refuses mustard and ox daisies, preferring short sweet grass and clover. Luckily we seem to have plenty of both. Its what adds the green to the lawn. She eats constantly, greenery dripping from her mouth as she takes another mouthful before she's even swallowed the first. She does do a good job as a lawnmower however, if the ground is wet, she leaves hoof imprints, so she's only useful in more decorative areas when its dry.

She also had to be tethered in areas such as the garden as she likes to sample things like flowers and herbs. She's especially partially to huge mouthfuls of comfrey. I guess her bones will be strong, looking at the chunks she's taken out of the large plant in the back garden! She also loves chives. Have you ever been close to a horse who smells like she's just eaten a hamburger with the works?

Kit seems to have settled since Lady was sold but I catch her deep in thought sometimes and I wonder if she's a bit lonely. She often hangs out with the Embden geese, leaning over the fence of their enclosure and watching them or snorting horse breath on them. They aren't as partial to her as she is to them however.

I've taken the weekly photo of the goslings, now a month old and growing fast. They're taking on the characteristics of the adult geese and even trying a charge or two to show just how fierce they can be. They wish they were a week ago.

I started a new drawing today - The Box People. It started out as the girl in the top left box, then seemed to go on from there. I'm not sure if I like the current composition as its too symmetrical. I still have to transfer it to my main paper and I think I will enlarge it as well.

I'm toying with the idea of going back to the original single girl in the box on a sheet about 20 x 30. On the other hand, I like the multiple images. If I had to chose, the girl on the top right would go. The pose is a little unnatural and the scale doesn't quite fit in with the rest. Ahhh decisions, decisions...

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,